What's your favorite genre?
What’s your favorite genre? It’s a loaded question to ask a group of mystery writers. We all love mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels. Otherwise, we wouldn’t write them. So I asked my fellow MissDemeanors, aside from mysteries, what genres they enjoyed the most. Mine is magical realism. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my favorite books. I love the genre, I think, because it forces me to think differently: to imagine yellow butterflies and passionate love affairs and see history through the remove of fantasy. My writing mind is more inclined towards present-day and the gritty realism of true crime headlines. Here’s what the rest of the MissDemeanors read when not whittling down their TBR mystery lists. Susan Breen:I love romance novels. The old-fashioned kind, like Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart. In my first novel, The Fiction Class, I named my protagonist Arabella after the heroine of one of Georgette Heyer’s novels. There was one novel, Jamaica Inn, by Daphne DuMaurier that I liked so much when I was a girl that the library wouldn’t allow me to take it out anymore and so I tried to copy it out by hand. Pre-internet. Tracee de Hahn: My second genre is a toss up. I love reading history….. literal textbook kind (well, perhaps not textbooks but non fiction history). That makes it easy to believe that my second fiction genre is historical fiction (I add things to this that are only “historical” to our eyes- Tolstoy, Austen, you get the picture.). Writing this makes me want to pull out the Colleen McCullough Rome series…. takes me back to high school! C. Michele Dorsey:I’m more interested in reading good writing than focusing on what the genre is. I enjoy memoir, humor, travel, poetry, “literary” fiction (whatever that is), and yes, romance. I also read lots of nonfiction and I adore reading cookbooks, especially when they are about a particular place. Right now I’m reading May Sarton’s Journal of a Solitude and Between You and Me, Confessions of a Comma Queen, and I’m ready for my next mystery from the TBR pile. Alexia Gordon: Science fiction. Sci-fi has rockets and lasers and aliens and sexy, hotshot pilots/smugglers/rogues. Plus the occasional robot and awesome travel itineraries. Oh yeah, and important stuff like satire and commentary on human nature, bigotry, politics, commercialism, bureaucracy, war, and universal fears. But mostly hotshot pilots. (Faves: The Space Merchants by Kornbluth and Pohl and the Retief series by Laumer.) Paula Munier: Oh, geez, this is like choosing among your children. When I’m not reading crime fiction, I’m reading best sellers across genres, which as an agent is an obligatory pleasure, as I need to keep up on what’s working out there in the marketplace. I also read a lot of nonfiction, especially in the areas of science, business, memoir, and mind/body/spirit. I’m a sucker for anything about dogs, baseball, nature, writing, and/or yoga. When I need inspiration, I read poetry and Shakespeare. To wit: I read a lot. Robin Stuart: Hm, I’d say I’m genre-agnostic. I’m one of those people who chooses books by opening them to a random page and if I keep reading, I’ll buy it. The same rule applies to ebooks that allow me to “look inside,” in which case I’ll advance to a random page near the end of the look-see. My recent non-mystery/suspense/thriller reading list includes historical non-fiction (Hidden Figures, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), YA (This is Where It Ends) and literary (The Assistants, Beautiful Ruins). The “why” of being drawn to pick them up/look in the first place is usually because I read about the book or author in the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle book sections.